How much should I contribute to my retirement plan? Conventional wisdom tells us that from the day we start working, to the day we retire, we should maximize contributions to our qualified retirement plans. Traditional retirement plans leave your money inaccessible and out of your control. Your goal should be to save in a tool that you can control. This video provides a closer look at retirement plans, and whether or not they are suitable for you and your needs.
“Another thing to keep in mind with retirement plans is that they’re often invested in the stock market and there’s no guaranteed that when you go to retire, your savings is going to be intact. “
Have you ever wondered how much you should be contributing to your retirement plan or 401k? Traditional qualified retirement plans leave your money inaccessible and out of your control. If your goal is to regain control of your money, then perhaps you should consider saving money in a place that’s safe and allows you access to your cash for things like cars, vacation, tuition, home renovation, and any other purchases, whether planned or unexpected.
When all your money is tied up in retirement plans, you’re at the mercy of the government, wall street and the banks. Let me give you an example. We were introduced to a client who had $1.4 million in a 401k plan. He wanted to take his family on vacation to Disney, but he couldn’t put his hands on $13,000 in order to do so. On paper, this man was a millionaire, but the reality of it was he couldn’t put his hands on $13,000 to take his family on vacation because he didn’t have access to his cash.
The point of the story is it’s not a bad idea to save for retirement. In fact, it’s a very good idea. However, it’s also important to save in a tool that you control, somewhere that’s flexible and allows you access to cash. Another thing to keep in mind with retirement plans is that they’re often invested in the stock market and there’s no guaranteed that when you go to retire, your savings is going to be intact.
People view their retirement plans as savings, but there’s a big difference between savings and investing. Savings should be money that’s accessible and safe. Conventional wisdom tells us that we’ll be in a lower tax bracket when we retire, but taxes is another area in regards to retirement plans that we don’t control. We may be in a lower tax bracket; we may be in a higher tax bracket. The fact of the matter is nobody knows but think about this. You’re deferring taxes into the future of the unknown. It’s like driving a car off the lot, not knowing what the final purchase price is. Would you do that? Most people wouldn’t, but yet every day we fund our retirement plans not knowing what the future cost is going to be to get our own money.In conclusion by maximizing our retirement plan contributions, our money is inaccessible and because our money in accessible, we have to go to banks and credit companies to finance the things of life. Additionally, we’re deferring taxes into an unknown future.